TeachersFirst's Resources on Racism and Discrimination
As educators, it’s our duty to teach our students to respect people of all races, genders, orientations, and cultures, both in our classroom and in the outside world. Racism, sexism, and orientation discrimination can be difficult topics to broach in the classroom but are essential to discuss as students find their voices and form their understanding of the world. In this collection, we share resources about combatting racism, lesson plans about the human cost of discrimination, and additional activities to spark meaningful discussion and encourage students at all grade levels to treat all people with respect.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this article as part of your professional development activities within your grade level or building as a support for understanding best practices on how to address racial issues, bias, or any difficult conversations that arise in a classroom. One way to really focus on this topic is to discuss one of the ten specific ideas each month. As a staff, share situations where the idea worked well or discuss ways to continue building a supportive environment built upon the topic focus. If you use Microsoft products, create a collaborative document using OneNote, reviewed here, to share ideas and participate in online conversations. Google users may want to consider using Google Keep, reviewed here, as a collaborative tool.
Grades10 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this article with others as part of your ongoing professional development about racism and bias. It is also practical to use with older students as part of lessons on racism. Make it easier for students to break down the information in the article through the collaborative use of Fiskkit, reviewed here. Upload the article to Fiskkit and share the link with students. Ask them to highlight areas of interest and add comments. Follow the author's advice and encourage students to draw on personal experiences as part of their discussions. One method for sharing experiences is through the use of short audio discussions using Synth, reviewed here. Think of Synth as an audio version of Twitter; users record up to 256 seconds of audio that work together to build powerful podcasts.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this article with your other resources to discuss racism, bias, or when addressing difficult conversations in the classroom. Use a curation tool like Padlet, reviewed here, to share and discuss articles, videos, and online information. As students research and learn more from other authors, help them organize information using SuperNoteCard, reviewed here. SuperNoteCard is a virtual notecard taking tool similar to the familiar 3X5 index cards used for notetaking by hand. Use notecards to keep a list of authors and articles, jot down big ideas, and compare suggestions for making positive changes.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this article with your other materials when teaching about racism, bias, identiy, or cross-cultural understanding. The interviewee shares responses in the article by raising questions for individuals to consider and use for reflection. Ask groups of students to take different questions to discuss and respond to as part of your article's discussion. Extend learning by asking them to share their findings by creating concept maps using a tool such as mindmaps, reviewed here, or with a presentation using tool like Prezi, reviewed here. Consider using Wakelet, reviewed here, as a curation tool for collecting and sharing resources with students, and also as a presentation tool for students to share their learning with peers.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this article with your other materials when discussing racism and bias. Engage students in a collaborative discussion of this article and others using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Add a link to the article in Fiskitt, then share with students to add questions and comments as they discuss the article together online. To help students focus on the topic, consider providing a list of possible questions before reading the article. Extend learning by asking students to use graphic organizers such as a 4-Circle Venn Diagram Creator, reviewed here, to compare and contrast information. For example, ask students to explore different media forms such as television, social media, podcasts, and literature and compare different presentations of racism and bias.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomThe Whiteness Project provides a unique and interesting resource for introducing and discussing difficult topics in the classroom, including racism, prejudice, bias, and empathy. Share this site with students and provide them time to listen to some of the conversations and the provided statistics. Encourage students to choose one statistic as a starting point for additional research. For example, one piece of data shared is the number of adults who have two or more races in their background. This provides a starting point for researching race in your community, state, or in the country. As students complete research, ask them to share their findings in a multimedia presentation using a tool like Sway, reviewed here, to add graphs, charts, images, and video that support their findings.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude this podcast as a resource for lessons on racism, bias, or when facing difficult conversations in the classroom. Be sure to sign up to listen to the newest podcasts on your favorite resource and scroll through the archives to find relevant recordings beginning in 2016. As students listen to podcasts, use Google Slides, reviewed here, to create a reflective document for students to share important information from the podcast along with any questions or information for further research. Use the podcasts as a model for students to create their own podcasts on any topic. Search ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, to find many tools to help students develop interesting podcasts including rubrics, podcast tutorials, and a lesson plan for teaching with podcasts. When students are ready to record and share their podcasts, Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is a free podcasting tool that provides options for scheduling broadcasts, adding chapters, and much more.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomInclude this slide with your other resources used when teaching racism or discussing self-identity. Share a link with students to use as part of a reading center to offer various read-alouds during center time. For younger students, use Symbaloo, reviewed here, as a bookmarking tool to share other videos, books, and activities as part of your unit on racism or bias. Include videos and books from this presentation as part of a learning unit created using TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here. Add quizzes, videos, documents, and more to create digital lessons that easily adapt to any student's ability levels. Use this presentation as a model to create an interactive bookroom using books, videos, and additional materials of your choosing. Use The Brown Bookshelf, reviewed here, as an excellent starting point to find additional books featuring Black voices.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomBookmark activities and podcasts shared in this site to use when teaching about racial bias, empathy, and climate. Download the educator's toolkit to use as an excellent resource for graphic organizers for students to organize information and plan action steps for multiple different uses. As a culminating activity, engage learners to share their ideas by creating digital books using Book Creator, reviewed here. Have students create books that include images, videos, and written text that share their ideas on steps to take to address social issues.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAll classrooms face difficult conversations at some point; bookmark this article to use as inspiration on how to address those moments and help students understand and develop empathy for others. Even if you don't have time for an extended lesson, encourage students to think beyond the moment by creating a Padlet, reviewed here, that curates and shares resources based upon your conversation. For example, one topic discussed in the article is "bonding" teasing and "annoying" teasing. Ask students to share examples of teasing in a Padlet that has columns for each form discussed. Use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a platform for discussing difficult moments and ask students to share ways to handle biased or insensitive comments.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse this radio broadcast as a resource for addressing racism both in the classroom and at home. The program includes short segments with different guests, use the segments to divide information into smaller topics and big ideas. Share a segment with parents along with guiding questions found in the discussion guide and encourage them to use this information to address race in their home as you also address these ideas at school. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to curate and share additional resources for families. As students reflect upon the questions and discussions, have them use Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to create infographics with their ideas for addressing issues of race and racism. Use Google Drawings, reviewed here, as an alternative for younger students to create and share their thoughts through original drawings.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this document as a guide to discussing racism in the classroom and as a link to many additional materials. Organize your resources using a curation tool such as Padlet, reviewed here. Use the shelf option in Padlet to create columns to organize information. For example, create columns to sort materials by grade levels or by type of content. As you teach lessons, use a mind mapping tool like Coggle, reviewed here to organize and share complex information. Extend learning using Biteable, reviewed here to create student-produced explainer videos sharing their ideas on addressing racism, media literacy strategies, or steps to help others through difficult times.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse images from this collection with any digital projects, and be sure to share with students to use with their digital work. These images are perfect to use with any projects that involve discussions and presentations on racism. Use images in a variety of ways such as to include in explainer videos created with Adobe Spark Video Creator, reviewed here, in digital books made with Book Creator, reviewed here, and in multimedia presentations made with Sway, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse these resources throughout the school year, and especially during difficult conversations, including those about racism, come up in class. Review these resources to prepare yourself for spontaneous discussions about race and differences. You may want to start the school year with "Claim It! Creating a Climate of Inclusion Lesson Plan," or skim through the list of resources to find one that will fit your lesson and students.
GradesK to 5
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In the ClassroomThough this site is affiliated with places to buy books i.e., Amazon, you can also find these books at your public library. An alternative would be to consider a "Wish List," either online with Amazon or publish it in your newsletter that goes home to parents and that you can mention at back-to-school night.
After reading the book to the class or a small group, ask students to think about what the author was trying to tell the students about the topic (diversity, etc.). Ask for volunteers to answer. Remind students to be respectful of others' opinions during an open discussion. Use the books suggested on this site to start a discussion as to why the topic is important. After this discussion you may want to use Flipgrid, reviewed here, to have students consolidate their learning by stating what they learned from the book and possibly replying to another classmate's response to the book.